Onboarding Employees Quickly During Rapid Expansion

By Khadim Batti, CEO and co-founder, of Whatfix

Workforce Expansion is an exciting yet  complicated time. Your organization is successful enough to need more employees. However, onboarding and training new employees take more time when there is a large influx of new hires. What is the point of expansion if onboarding hinders productivity?

In today’s market, new employees must become proficient in the applications and software needed to perform their jobs quickly to become productive and support operational goals. Successful digital onboarding prepares new hires for success and allows employers to provide a flexible, personalized experience while saving time and resources. When done correctly, the process can meet every employee’s individual needs at the moment when they need it the most.

HR teams should know there are best practices, methods, and solutions available to help employees reach optimal proficiency more quickly. The biggest hurdle is the right combination of processes and tools to accommodate your organization and its employees. One of the latest technologies to emerge that can simplify and enhance digital onboarding is a digital adoption platform (DAP). A DAP’s key benefit is providing training that fits into employee workflows so learning is consistent in the flow of work. Deloitte found that learning in the flow of work, also known as experiential learning, helps identify workers’ knowledge gaps and allows organizations to deliver the right content to create more personalized training. DAPs also provide HR teams key analytics to evaluate how successful training initiatives are at the individual level, which employees are excelling, and which may need additional training.

Personalized Onboarding Experiences

New employees benefit greatly from the personalized onboarding experience that DAPs provide. For example, step-by-step instructions within applications help users learn tasks through a series of interactions instead of static learning material. These walkthroughs are transformational as a result. Traditional training sessions involving conferences or seminars led by an instructor are time-consuming and overly expensive. In contrast, self-paced training sessions can be used to train both larger groups and individual employees and do not require scheduling a new session every time a new employee is onboarded is much more agile and effective.

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Renewable Energy Group (REG) provides a great example of digital adoption success. REG is experiencing rapid growth due to increased global demand for low-carbon fuels and immediate decarbonization. To help new employees achieve proficiency quickly on critical operational applications like JD Edwards and Salesforce, REG deployed a DAP, which significantly reduced employee time to proficiency from six to three months. Step-by-step walkthroughs were critical to achieving this milestone because they were embedded directly within applications, giving trainees timely nudges to help them complete tasks and simplifying complex concepts by breaking actions into intuitive steps.

Improving Accuracy

When there are no uniform training processes across an enterprise, tribal knowledge becomes an issue when employees learn to complete tasks their own way. It makes it more challenging to pass knowledge on to new hires, which results in reduced productivity and potential errors. Digital onboarding helps combat this by building a consistent experience. Every new hire learns the same processes the same way. Storing training data directly in applications ensures the longevity and consistency of the experience, as this information can easily be made available within a documents manager and accessed by future new hires.

Digital onboarding tools can also automate routine tasks. This enables HR teams to streamline onboarding workflow by setting up automatic reminders for new hires that enable them to create more personalized experiences. As a result, new hires are more equipped to address problems themselves without the help of others needing to ask others for help. DAPs equipped with artificial intelligence can automate repetitive tasks as opportunities present themselves. Reminders can be programmed to nudge employees toward self-help menus to review best practices, drastically reducing the number of support calls so employees can focus on business-critical tasks.

Tracking the Effectiveness of Training

New hires are not the only ones who will benefit from digital onboarding. DAPs also provide feedback to HR teams on training progress, organizations to know which features are used the most, which workflows are the most successful, and which need to be addressed. In turn, organizations can use these analytics to improve decision-making regarding training, talent management, employee retention, and recruiting.

An effective digital onboarding process will amplify an organization’s culture while pushing employees toward both personal and company goals. The right technologies can support those initiatives while providing HR teams with data to better support employees and aid in the search for new recruits. In the end, new employees will succeed hand in hand as organizations expand.

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